Western’s compelling romantic novel tells the story of Katie Smythe, a successful London antique shop owner, and her courtship by, and marriage to wealthy playboy Declan Black, before shifting into a thriller when Katie is kidnapped for ransom.
After discovering that her long-time boyfriend has been cheating on her, Katie decides to take a break from romantic relationships. Soon after, millionaire art gallery owner Declan Black walks into her shop and Katie questions her resolve. Declan, despite forever having shunned the idea of having a serious relationship, can’t get Katie out of his head and asks her to dinner. As Katie and Declan begin to see each other, he denies his feelings to himself, insisting he isn’t a one-woman man and nearly sabotaging their love by having a well-publicized affair with Alicia Mays, a beautiful heiress and sculptress. Katie is a sympathetic, believable heroine, torn by her growing feelings for an almost-too-perfect man and the distrust she feels for his elite world. Declan only recognizes that he has fallen in love with Katie after she breaks up with him and leaves town for the wedding of her brother, Michael. When she returns, Declan asks her to marry him. While following the romance novel formula, Western presents enough obstacles and chemistry to the couple’s love that their union feels well earned. Friends and foils provide an interesting backdrop, and naturalistic dialogue moves the story along. When Katie and Declan travel to Turkey for their honeymoon, she is kidnapped, and Declan and Michael, as well as Katie’s own bravery, are her only chances for escape. Western plots this part of the novel at comfortably swift pace. Clunky point-of-view shifts occasionally get in the way of the narrative, but the book ties up the pieces for a satisfying ending
This urbane, sexy romance novel smoothly transitions from romance to thriller.